Leading gambling charity GamCare has announced the launch of a brand new study which aims to offer a deeper look into online gambling behaviour.
According to GamCare, the project aims to make online gambling “significantly safer” by developing knowledge and interventions to protect online gamblers by moving them away from harm and towards protection.
GamCare says the project will be “extremely valuable” and will have a positive impact on the “wider online gambling community”.
The charity has partnered with London’s City University as well as research agencies LAB and Ignition House for the project which consists of two phases; a small qualitative study with up to 20 participants who have gambled online in the last six months followed by a larger quantitative study.
As explained by GamCare in its report, the study will involve an hour-long, one-to-one phone or video interview with an experienced researcher. The interview will feature questions and answers to help the research team better understand online gambling behaviour.
The project’s research team are actively seeking participants for the study’s first phase and want interested participants to register before Christmas. As GamCare says in its report, “There are no right or wrong answers, the interview is purely an opportunity for the team to learn about experiences, behaviours, and feelings towards online gambling.”
The charity states that interviews will begin in early 2021, and the organisation is offering participants a £40 Amazon voucher for taking part.
GamCare’s announcement comes several days after the gambling charity announced a research partnership with King’s College London to develop a “trigger” question to identify gambling-related harm as part of people’s contact with local authority adult social care services.
Under funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), GamCare and King’s College’s project, titled Research For Social Care, will work to validate a new single question screening tool which will be used with enquirers and service users.
As reported by Casino Beats, the project will also test the single question screening tool’s effectiveness across three local authorities. The question will help gamblers by putting them in touch with support services and will help develop a picture of the number of people affected by gambling-related harm as well as the cost of services to local authorities.
In its report, GamCare states there is a lack of data on gambling harm despite the substantial publicity about the gambling industry’s expansion amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as policy interest in the public health impacts of gambling.
Caroline Norrie, the Research Fellow at King’s College London and project lead, said in a statement: “This is only the second gambling-related study to have been funded by the NIHR, so we are incredibly excited and also pleased to see gambling harm being recognised as an area where adult social care can play an important part in supporting people get the help they need.”
Anna Hemmings, the CEO of GamCare, added: “GamCare is delighted to work with the team on this programme. Developing a single question screening tool or ‘trigger question’ which can be implemented in a variety of settings is an essential part of better identifying gambling harms, so we can work together to address them as swiftly as possible.
“Giving professionals in adult social care settings the tools and confidence to open up conversations around gambling, risk, and harm is a vital step to ensuring individuals, families, and communities are able to access the right interventions at the right time to prevent harms from escalating.”
Speaking on safer gambling, Playtech last week announced that it had integrated its UK affordability solution into its IMS casino platform as part of a move to support operators in meeting online gambling regulatory requirements.
According to Playtech, its new affordability solution is provided by eKYC and fraud detection specialists TruNarrative under an extended partnership with the game developer.
As explained by Playtech, the solution will accurately and reliably identify customers whose gambling spend may be unsustainable, and through the platform, gambling operators will be able to track player spending across multiple brands and perform manual investigations based on real-time data.
The solution will also help operators implement bespoke rules and thresholds on player affordability data, transactions, and behaviour, and can help automate decisions to help protect users.
Ian Ince, the Chief Compliance Officer at Playtech, said in a statement: “As regulatory requirements around the sustainability and affordability of gambling become ever-more stringent, we want to ensure we can empower operators to meet these requirements and protect their players.
“TruNarrative’s specialist safer gambling services have quickly made them a core-partner for Playtech – and now, with Affordability UK, we can offer a sophisticated, market-leading solution, backed by some of the most comprehensive data available. Back by IMS integration, it can deliver a seamless experience for operators.”
John Lord, the CEO at TruNarrative, added: “Since partnering with Playtech earlier this year, we’ve been able to bring a vast array of specialist services to their customers, and we’re delighted to be adding Affordability UK to that list.
“Affordability UK offers [a] unique insight into a player’s ability to afford their bets, as well [as] minimising the requirement for physical payslips and document submissions, creating a low-friction experience. We’re confident it will become a vital part of any operator’s toolset in their drive to meet and exceed UKGC expectations around safer gambling.”
The news comes as both the UK Gambling Commission and the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) work to drive up standards within the gambling industry by implementing new rule changes. So far these have included a new code of conduct on the design and play of video slots as well as a ban on using credit cards for gambling.